Jamie DeAndre and her daughter were separated from their cat for four days after the Gray Fire. Their house was destroyed, but magic still existed under the rubble.
LAKE MEDICAL, Wash. – Knowing what their cat, Meows, went through, endured, and survived the Gray Flame, Jamie DeAndre and his daughter, Jasmine, are holding her a little tighter.
“She’s such a good cat,” DeAndre said. “And what a strong cat.”
Strong just begins to describe Meows. Jamie was in downtown Spokane when she discovered a wildfire was quickly spreading to her home.
“I was walking into the house, literally spinning in circles and asking ‘what should I get?’” Jamie recalls.
Meows, an indoor-outdoor cat, was nowhere to be found during the evacuation.
“There wasn’t time to find her, but I wasn’t really worried because she’s a really resilient cat,” Jamie said. “I know she ran to safety.”
Where exactly Meows had run off to, she wasn’t sure. But no matter where she went, it was enough to keep her alive.
“She’s truly a miracle, and like in one sense of the word, I knew that she was going to make it, but honestly when we look back at what she’s been through,” Jamie said. , I couldn’t believe she did it. “It was really tense. It broke my heart to know she had been out there in that rubble for four days. When we found her, she smelled like rotten meat.”
Jamie explained that her brother found Meows under rocks and rubble near her home four days after the fire swept through Medical Lake and part of Silver Lake.
“He wrapped her up, she meowed a little and we took her right to Medical Lake hospital,” Jamie said.
According to Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital, Meows was “fried all over” and in critical condition when he arrived.
“She had fourth-degree burns on her front paws,” Jamie said. “So those things went right down to the bone.”
Meows was microchipped, but Jamie and Jasmine said they knew, even without the microchip, that the cat in front of them was Meows.
“There will never be another cat like it and hiding in the rocks in the middle of our house,” Jamie said. “There’s no doubt about it, I already know.”
Dr. Mariah Young said it was difficult to tell the severity of her injuries based on the extent of her burns, but after some tests, she was able to determine that Meows’ lungs were not damaged.
Meows needed the tip of her tail removed and the tops of her ears fell off.
Dr. Young said Meows likely survived because she was a long-haired cat. The fire burned away most of her hair, but her skin remained quite healthy.
Dr. Young said the hospital is currently collaborating with Paisley Feeta non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the financial needs of the veterinary care sector for Meows.
“We call her our ‘miracle cat,’” Dr. Young said.
Meows spent nearly three weeks in the ICU before being released to foster parents.
Jamie said Meows’ medical expenses were up to $6,000, but donations kept pouring in, taking care of everything.
“We’re pretty lucky,” Jamie said. “I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who donated. It’s been a huge burden lifted off our shoulders.”
Jasmine went on to extend her thanks, expressing her appreciation to the Davenport Hotel Tower as well as all the friends and strangers who supported their family.
“It’s good that we have friends who care about us,” Jasmine said. “If we didn’t have friends, I don’t know what we would have. We wouldn’t have anything.”
Jasmine said Meows is an adventurous and fearless cat.
“One time, I was watering the plants and saw her fighting with a raccoon,” Jasmine recalls. “Sometimes she’ll bring wild things inside.”
Doctors at Medical Lake Vet expect Meows to make a full recovery. She will have some permanent scars and rounded ears, but she will grow her hair back in due time.
Jamie and Jasmine are preparing to move into a new rental home in Cheney in October, where Meows will have a “large, fenced backyard” and a space for the three of them to make new memories.
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